By Civil Service World

10 Dec 2015

With the end of 2015 in sight, we asked Whitehall's top officials to review the year, set out their priorities for 2016 – and shed some light on their festive plans. Sally Collier, chief executive of the Crown Commercial Service, takes part in our biggest-ever perm secs round-up series...

How did you tackle the biggest challenges facing your organisation in 2015?

It has been a huge privilege to lead Crown Commercial Service this year. CCS is still a relatively new organisation, set up to provide great commercial skills to the public sector. We are in the middle of a transformation to become a truly first class service.

The biggest challenges this year have been attracting and recruiting excellent commercial expertise and scaling up to provide procurement services to more departments. Of course we have had to tackle these challenges while delivering savings with our customers. We have done this by changing our structure to put customers at the heart of everything we do and creating an exciting alliance with the private sector to support savings delivery. We have also focused on responding to our minister’s priorities around helping SMEs compete for government business, prompt payment and apprenticeships – all supporting the growth agenda.

I’d like to thank my colleagues in government departments for their support and constructive challenge to help us on our way during the year, and of course my great teams whose efforts, often above and beyond the call of duty, are a credit to the civil service.

Perm secs round-up 2015: Whitehall's top civil servants review the year – and look ahead to 2016
Crown Marketplace to provide central shop for public sector buyers

What are your department’s top priorities in the year ahead?

Next year, we will redouble our efforts on helping departments to deliver savings and providing excellent service. We will also expand our work in the wider public sector. We’ll continue to transform CCS, investing in our people and technology – this will include the creation of a modern digital crown marketplace to improve efficiency. We’ll continue to work with departments on supporting smaller businesses and will push on with measures to tackle late and unfair payment practices in the public sector, as well as making sure we realise the benefits from recent and forthcoming procurement directives.  

What film do you hope to watch over the festive period – and what’s the best game to play with the family on Christmas Day?

We aren’t really a film family but I annoy my family greatly by insisting on games of all sorts. Articulate is a favourite as is anything to do with buses – my 6-year-old son is a bus fanatic!


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